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Putin to visit Germany for talks with Merkel on Saturday – German govt spokesman

Putin to visit Germany for talks with Merkel on Saturday – German govt spokesman
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Berlin this weekend to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, a German government spokesman has confirmed.

“Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 18, 2018 at federal government’s Schloss Meseberg,” according to a statement from government spokesman Steffen Seibert, referring to an 18th-century palace 50 miles northwest of Berlin.

Seibert did not elaborate on the details of the visit, only saying “relevant foreign policy issues” will be discussed.

The spokesman earlier told RIA Novosti: “You can’t say what exactly will be discussed at such a high-level meeting.

“I can imagine that bilateral ties, the Syria conflict, eastern Ukraine reconciliation, as well as energy cooperation will be on the agenda.”

Putin and Merkel have met on the number of occasions throughout their long political careers. Last time, the Russian president (known for his excellent German skills) and the German chancellor (a fluent Russian speaker) met face-to-face in the resort city of Sochi in May of this year.

While in Sochi, they had plenty of issues to discuss, from humanitarian aid and the political transition in Syria, to US President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from a nuclear deal with Iran and re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran.

Aside from these issues, they went on to talk EU’s joint projects with Russia, particularly the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Putin and Merkel also confirmed their nations were committed to the Minsk agreement, a roadmap towards peace for Ukraine. According to the two leaders, a new meeting of the so-called Normandy format, which includes Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, may soon be convened, but refrained from providing a timeline.

The relations between Putin and Merkel have had ups and downs, but the pair has always managed to come to terms, even in times when the West was at odds with Russia.

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